The role of St Bartholomew’s staff during the COVID-19 pandemic has been recognised by a group of master plumbers.
Craftsmen and women from the Worshipful Company of Plumbers – one of the City of London’s oldest livery companies – have gifted a lead planter to the hospital, which celebrates its 900th anniversary next year, as a thank you for its response to the crisis.
Weighing around half a tonne, the planter pays homage to the ‘devoted service and selfless dedication’ by all of the NHS over the past two years.
The ornate design, on show in the hospital square, includes the plumber’s Company logo, St Bartholomew’s Hospital shield and George Cross which was awarded to the NHS on its 73rd birthday.
The Worship Company of Plumbers was established in the 1300s to regulate the profession. It is now a charitable institution dedicated to preserving the ancient craft.
Plumbers have a long history of lead casting, a skill on show at the Amberley industrial heritage museum in West Sussex where the planter was made.
Similar works are on display in the Tower of London and at Buckingham Palace.
Company Master Nick Jones said they “wanted to pay their own special tribute”.
In 2020 a team of blacksmiths from a Lincolnshire forge gifted a bench to St Bartholomew’s. Shaped in a rainbow motif – symbolising the nation’s gratitude towards the NHS during COVID – it is forged out of brass, copper and steel and engraved with ‘thank you’ in 16 different languages.
Professor Charles Knight, Chief Executive of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, said: “On behalf of the hospital, thank you to the Worshipful Company of Plumbers for this generous gift to the staff of St Bartholomew’s. It is a fitting recognition of their continued dedication to giving patients the best care and the sacrifices made during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a testament to the close relationship that exists between the City of London’s liveries and the hospital.”